While many enterprises have been experimenting with private clouds over the last year, moving real workloads to the platform means dealing with public clouds and others' cloud platforms, a problem dubbed hybrid cloud.
CloudForms, originally created as a Red Hat Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS offering, has now joined the OpenStack development group founded by competitor Rackspace (RAX) and is pushing CloudForms as a method for interoperating among different cloud infrastructures.
It does this through an existing open source project previously launched through Red Hat, Apache DeltaCloud an Application Program Interface or API that lets companies connect clouds that are designed using different standards.
This means that if a customer is using Red Hat for its own cloud, and wants to use Amazon's (AMZN) EC2 for some customer-facing application, or interoperate with a business partner using VMWare (VMW), it can move data back-and-forth between the two seamlessly, with complex problems such as security handled in a self-service way.
The idea is that Red Hat is following the needs of its customers, who are want to move toward cloud technology in stages without being locked-in to a specific vendor. This is what the cloud mainstream is all about, vendors cooperating with code based on open source standards while focusing on the problems of their own customer bases.
CloudForms is being offered as part of a "stack" that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBOSS Enterprise Middleware and Red Hat Storage, with full support for the company's distribution of OpenStack.
Disclosure: I am long AMZN.